Ever since one of the Get Out Of Your Own Way students asked me a question that inspired†this post, Iíve been pondering how we can balance feeling grateful for what is, while simultaneously inviting ourselves to tap into our deepest desires.
I asked my friend†Dana Theus what she thought about that question and I loved her answer so much I want to share it here.
Take it away Dana!
Gratitude for what we have and desire for the future are not opposites. They are two states we can feel simultaneously just like we can eat dinner – appreciating sauteed fish – at the same time we think about the yummy oatmeal we’re planning for breakfast.
But this is only true – we can only experience them simultaneously – if we can actually appreciate the fish we’re eating right now. If we can’t, then we’re always hating the present and using our vision of what may feel like an inaccessible future state to make ourselves more unhappy with the present.
The thing to do is to realize that the present is ALL WE ACTUALLY HAVE. If we’re going to be happy or sad, it will be based on the present moment. Desire for the future plays a different role. It gives us hope and is fun to think about, plus it is critically important to help us tap into our purpose and understand what we care about so that we can better direct our energies today and tomorrow towards something that fills us with excitement.
BUT IT IS FUNDAMENTALLY NOT REAL.
Thus, we can’t actually enjoy it. We can’t hold it and have it. Even when we attach to it, this just makes us more cognizant that it is not real and creates a gap in our lives that isn’t really even there.† Until we learn to be satisfied, content and grateful for what we actually have, we cannot ever be happy in real time and thus our dreams can never come true.
If we’re not happy with our current life and situation, then we need to be intentional about changing it until we are happy with it – but the “comparison stick” isn’t some abstract future desire that isn’t even real; it’s what constitutes our life right now.
Isnít that so true? You rock, Dana!
For those who struggle with this, Dana and I came up with a few tips to help you find your balance.